New Buildings for Fulham Cross Academy Approved

Sports and dining block part of major improvement programme

Visualisation of a proposed new building. Picture: Noviun Architects
Visualisation of a proposed new building. Picture: Noviun Architects

February 19, 2024

A Fulham school is to undergo a major revamp with three ‘outdated’ buildings demolished and replaced with a new sports and dining block. The proposal for Fulham Cross Academy, an 800-student secondary school specialising in Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM), also includes extensive planting and landscaping works, plus some refurbishment of existing buildings.

Hammersmith and Fulham councillors last week unanimously approved the plans, with committee members endorsing the need to upgrade the site and praising some of the climate initiatives. Under the scheme, three of the site’s older buildings, including sports and dining blocks which are deemed to be past their ‘useful life’ and unable to be repurposed to meet net zero requirements, will be demolished.

Much of this space will then be used for improved landscaping, intended to deliver a better experience for students attending the school. A new two-storey building will also be constructed, featuring sports facilities such as a fitness suite and changing rooms, plus a dining hall.

Parts of the school will be available for community use, with local sports clubs expected to benefit. The application was filed by Tilbury Douglas Construction on behalf of the Department for Education. Tilbury Douglas Construction was approached for comment, but had not responded at the time of publication.

Among the considerations noted in the plans was the impact on the Grade-II listed Kingwood Road School and former Childerley Street School buildings, which are still located on the site. However, a heritage assessment found their ‘significance will not be harmed’ and will instead be preserved by the changes. The loss of two trees was also raised as a negative, though the proposal does include an increase in biodiversity, with 41 trees to be planted.

The designs for Fulham Cross Academy involve extensive new planting. Picture: Noviun ArchitectsThe designs for Fulham Cross Academy involve extensive new planting. Picture: Noviun Architects

The project’s agent, Matthew Blythin, Director at DHA Planning, told councillors at the Planning and Development Control Committee meeting, “The school’s existing provision is outdated and beyond its useful life, falling significantly below the standards that any school should reasonably expect. In contrast, these proposals will deliver high quality facilities that the pupils need and deserve.”

He said the existing sports and dining provision will remain operational while the new building is completed, before demolition begins. There was little push-back by councillors during the meeting, with councillors Alex Karmel, Patrick Walsh and Wesley Harcourt all speaking favourably of the plans. The loss of the two trees however was mentioned by both Cllr Walsh and Cllr Harcourt, though they each acknowledged and praised the wider climate considerations rolled into the scheme. All five councillors on the committee proceeded to back the proposed works, and to grant listed building consent for the planned amendments to Kingwood Road School.

Ben Lynch - Local Democracy Reporter